Inspiration. It can be found anywhere, and everywhere, so long as one aspires to find it. The world is full of beautiful things, people, and places, full of inspiration. However, it is also full of circusmtances that are far less than ideal, to say the least. Still, there is inspiration to be found in all things. Inspiration can be defined as the stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity. Inspiration leads to aspiration, which is the strong desire to achieve something. Quite appropriately, aspiration can also be defined as the act of breathing. Therefore, if one could say that to breathe, is to aspire, then to live is to desire, for without aspiration, one could not live. If aspiration equals breath and also desire, then the very basis of our existence is desire. And in order to aquire such desire, one must be inspired. We all desire something. But what inspirations trigger our innermost desires? What is it that inspires us?
For a long time, especially in the months following my mother’s passing, my life was completely uninspired. Bleak. Dreary. Hollow and dry. I found myself just going through the motions of the things I was “supposed” to do, the things I was “expected” as an adult, a mother, a HUMAN, to do. The very things which used to help me feel sane and grounded, now trapped me like a prisoner, running in circles, caught in a wheel of despair. The interests and activities I once loved and enjoyed whole heartedly, were now hard to do. Things like yoga, running, cooking, reading, and writing now seemed like such daunting tasks. What was it all for? Where would it lead me? It wouldn’t get me away from this place I had sunk into. It wouldn’t undo all of the turmoil that had taken place in recent months. It wouldn’t reignite that spark of life I once knew. It definitely wouldn’t fill the whole that now existed where the presence of my mother once filled. Or would it?
I drifted in and out of ruts, and self-destructive ways of thinking, and longed for a way out – a way out of my despair, out of my head, out of the chaos and rising floodwaters that seemed to take over my life. I felt at times that the current was just too strong, and though I know how to swim well, the effort it would take to swim against the current, make it to shore, and pull myself out of the water, cold and wet in front of the world, seemed like just too much to bear. It seemed easier then to just let the current take me downstream and wash up on some other shore… to begin anew, fresh and dry.
But then, one unusally warm February morning, the unexpected sight and feel of the sun came over me. I was inspired. Inspired to run. And run I did. I drove to my old favorite watershed trail and I ran my ass off. Seven miles, after months of not even running one. And during that run, a beautiful awareness came over me, an epiphany as some might call it. I reached a break in the trees, with a perfect view of the crystal blue waters reflecting the azure sky, just enough of a sliver through the branches for the sun to shine its light on me and only me – and then it happened. A yellow butterfly came to me. It was a sign, a message, and exactly what I needed to reignite that spark of life I once knew. This run was the beginning of the path of inspiration I have come to follow and know as my life. I am going to share with you the passage I wrote that day following this magical run. Since then, I have been blessed with new life and opportunity, have welcomed change and wisdom, have gotten to know peace, and have experienced far more than some experience in a lifetime. I am truly living a life of inspiration, and it is my aspiration to share with you my experiences and discoveries the best way I know how – through my writings.
Today I Ran
written February 22, 2012
Today I ran. But instead of running away from something, today I ran toward something. Something much greater, more idyllic, and much more peaceful, than all the things I thought I had longed to find while previously running away. I ran toward a new me. I ran toward truth. I ran toward happiness. I ran toward LIFE.
Today I ran toward the realization that I miss my mom, and the awareness of just how much I love my mom, and the consciousness, the reality, that she is never coming back in the physical form, but that she is always with me in the spiritual sense. I ran toward the acceptance of something I wish had never happened, and something I wish I never had to accept. I ran toward the hazy notion of moving on, while clenching to and reliving the dear, sweet, and irreplaceable memories of my past. I ran toward the acceptance of almost a year of denial, almost a year of one whirlwind after another, almost a year of running away. Today I ran, but this time, I ran toward something.
Today I ran toward life, and the most glorious part of it all, is that I actually reached my desired goal. I crossed the metaphorical finish line of my own self determined course and reached my destination, that destination being ME. And while traveling down that path, I discovered truth. I discovered life. I discovered bliss. I discovered all of my senses, alive and perfectly in sync, allowing me to breath in the air and the trees overhead, to feel the sloshing mud and pine needles underfoot, to hear the chirping birds above and the skittish squirrels in the crunchy leaves running across my path, to feel the wind flow through my hair and the sun shine upon my skin. I tasted life in every possible way. I have never before felt so alive and so full of life and all it contains, never before felt so surrounded by joy and happiness and life, all by myself but not alone, in the woods on this trail.
Today was a day unlike any other before it, though I know it will not be unlike any other to come. Today I ran. I ran toward life. And the best part of it all: I got there, and I embraced it, and I haven’t let it go.